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Tricks for making a room look bigger

Created: 25/07/2018

Having trouble making the most of a small room in your home? We’ve put together some useful tricks to help your room feel less cramped, and give the illusion of spaciousness and depth that expert handyman services would advise.



Any interior designer will tell you that using mirrors are one of the most effective ways to trick the eye into thinking a room is bigger than it actually is, but there’s more than one way to utilise this clever trick.

“Use a focal point and angle your mirrors toward it to give the illusion of depth,” says Freshome. “Mirrors also reflect both natural and artificial light to make a room brighter during the day and night. They bounce light deep into the room, making it appear larger.

“Placing a mirror near a window to reflect the outdoors is especially effective. Mirrors on the walls and glass table tops will give your room a more open feel. You can also use mirrored cabinet doors to make spaces feel larger.”



Walls & Floors

A common misconception about small spaces is that they shouldn’t be teeming with busy patterns. But when used in a particular way, they can give a small room some much-needed depth.

Rugs with stripes or patterns with small repeats work wonders for elongating a room according to Expert Home Tips, particularly when they’re placed under furniture. If your space is exceptionally small, Freshome warns that rugs might not be the way to go. “Keep the floor as clear as possible. This is one of the most important ways to maintain a sense of spaciousness. Take out large rugs to create the illusion of more floor space.”

Another great little trick suggested by Buzzfeed is to use a bold paint or patterned wallpaper on your ceiling, while keeping your walls and floors light in colour. The bold contrast draws the eyes upwards, and gives the illusion of height.




Although it seems counterproductive, your décor doesn’t have to be plain. Style Caster suggests hanging big, dramatic art pieces. “Big pieces of art can add a heck of a lot of drama to a small space, and make the room seem bigger in the process.”

When it comes to ornaments, Timely News recommends following ‘the cantaloupe rule’. The rule suggests that small, decorative pieces actually makes a room feel more crowded, so instead you should opt for pieces that are no smaller than the size of a cantaloupe (or about the size of a melon).

Style Caster also recommends a floor-to-ceiling bookcase, again because it gives the illusion of height. And rather than over-cluttering the shelves, leave some open spaces to make it seem roomier.




There are definitely some big dos and don’ts when it comes to the placement of your furniture. Furniture should be pushed right up against the wall to maximise space, right? Not quite.

According to Buzzfeed, “Pushing furniture up against the wall makes everything look and feel cramped. Even just few inches in between the wall and your bigger items can make the space look more open.”

This may also seem like a big no-no, but placing your furniture at an angle actually makes a room feel more spacious, according to Freshome. “The longest straight line in any room is the diagonal. When you place your furniture at an angle, it leads the eye along the longer distance rather than the shorter wall. As a bonus, you often get some additional storage space behind the piece in the corner.”

The trick with furniture is to make the most of the space it sits in, which is why Freshome also suggests using furniture with visible legs. “Choose a sofa and chairs with open arms and exposed legs. This allows light to filter under the furniture, making the room appear airier.”

And while we’re on the subject of airiness, clear furniture definitely gets the green light. Whether that’s clear chairs, glass coffee tables or even a clear shower curtain, Style Caster says that see-through furniture tricks the eye into seeing more space, as well as helping to bounce more light around the room.




Lighting not only creates ambience, it also accounts for how spacious a room feels. The Everygirl recommends skipping dark-inducing drapes and instead leaving your windows totally uncovered. “This will trick your eyes into thinking that your pad’s got depth — and reveal the natural landscape outside. If your room requires some privacy, try gauzy sheer white drapes for an airy feel that will keep prying eyes out.”

Buzzfeed also recommends ditching the overhead lights. “Harsh top-down lighting pools all the light in one space. Instead, use a few smaller lamps to spread the light around and draw the eye around the room.”



Colour Schemes

When it comes to choosing a colour scheme for your floor and walls, it seems the general consensus is to stick to light colours that help reflect the light rather than absorb it like dark hues do. Woman’s Day recommends sticking to cream, beige, light greyish-blue and lavender to keep your space feeling bright and roomy.

Expert Home Tips also suggests varying the shades of your selected hue, particularly with furniture. “When it comes to your furniture, soft furnishings, fittings, ornaments, curtains and carpets - pick different shades, hints and tones of a single hue. This colour scheme is easy on the eyes, so you'll be able to take in the whole room without being interrupted by other colours.”

Colour co-ordination with your belongings can also trick the eyes into making a room seem more sizeable than it actually is. According to Buzzfeed, “Anything that makes a group of smaller items look intentionally arranged will make it feel more streamlined. This works for books or anything else that is visible in your home.”

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